This Kentucky Bill Has Major Implications for Future of Bourbon: What to Know

by Samantha Whidden
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A recently introduced Kentucky Bill, HB 500, has reportedly major implications for the future of Bourbon. According to The Lane Report, House Majority Whip and Kentucky State Representative, Chad McCoy, introduced the bill to legalize private barrel selections at distilleries. This in return will boost bourbon tourism in the state by introducing new programs to attract reoccurring visitors as well as enhance local communities. It was also reported that the bill would create a legal framework for popular private barrel selection programs. 

What We Know

  • Kentucky House Bill 500 will authorize private bourbon barrel selections. It also allows consumers as well as non-profits o purchase limited private selection barrels directly from distillery visitor enters. 
  • The Bill will allow consumer to purchase limited exclusive bourbon bottles that are only available at distillery gift shops. 
  • Furthermore, the Kentucky Bill will allow distilleries to open only one satellite tasting room each. This will notably enhance downtowns and local communities through out the state. 

Kentucky State Representative Shares More Details About Bourbon Bill

Kentucky House Majority Whip and State Representative, Chad McCoy recently spoke about the new bill and what distilleries may expect from it. “Bourbon is more than a cultural icon. It is a proven economic powerhouse for our Commonwealth. Even in the midst of a global pandemic, tourists are visiting the Bourbon Trail. Consumers are buying special releases. And distilleries are investing in their facilities.

McCoy further explains that the provisions of this bill will help sustain the growth and introduce an additional draw for distilleries. This bill is the best step in our effort to remove the barriers that the Bourbon industry faces. We’re leveling the playing field and giving consumers and tourists what they want. A unique bourbon experience that they can’t get anywhere else in the world.”

Meanwhile, the Kentucky Representative goes on to claim that the bill will create new jobs and generate investment. All without costing taxpayers a single penny. When noting what inspired HB 500, McCoy pointed out SB 11. Which allowed cocktail sales at distilleries. “That opened the door to world-class bars and restaurants at distilleries just like you have in Napa. SB 11 was directly responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in investments by Kentucky distilleries [It] created good-paying jobs and valuable tax revenue for local communities. We need to keep that momentum rolling.”

McCoy also explains that the new bill requires retailers and wholesalers to purchase private barrel selection bottles through a three-tier system. This in return protects the integrity of the process. He notes that Kentucky consumers are continuously seeking to spend more and wait longer to purchase private barrel bottles straight from distilleries. This is due to what he believes are unnecessary regulatory burdens. 

Outsider.com